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April 26, 2011

ATTORNEY GENERAL MADIGAN: WHITE COUNTY MAN ARRESTED ON CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CHARGES

20th Arrest in Statewide Crackdown on Child Porn Traffickers

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced today the arrest of a White County man as part of her continuing statewide crackdown targeting traders of child pornography in Illinois.

Investigators from Madigan’s office arrested Jedidiah M. Johnson, 18, of Carmi. He is charged with three counts of distribution of child pornography, each a Class 1 felony punishable by a four- to fifteen-year prison term in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

“Possession and distribution of child pornography are not victimless crimes. Every time an offender views, downloads or trades images online, these children are victimized all over again,” Attorney General Madigan said. “Child pornography destroys the lives of these young victims. My office will continue to find these offenders and arrest them.”

This marks the 20th arrest in Madigan’s crackdown on the most active traffickers who download and trade child pornography on the Internet. Johnson is being held pending a bond hearing.

Madigan said cooperation among state and local law enforcement was key to the success of today’s arrest and her overall crackdown on child pornographers throughout Illinois. Today’s arrest involved Attorney General’s Office investigators, the city of Carmi Police Department and White County State’s Attorney T. Scott Webb.

In late August, Attorney General Madigan announced the initiative, dubbed Operation Glass House, to find and arrest the worst child pornographers in Illinois using the unique identifier that each computer is assigned when it accesses the Internet, known as an Internet protocol (IP) address. As of April 22, 4,669 Illinois IP addresses were seen trading child pornography images and videos across the state by Attorney General’s Office investigators.

Studies have shown that users of child pornography are more likely to also be sexual abusers of children. A total of 24,900 sex offenders are listed on the Illinois Sex Offender Registry, of which 81 percent committed a crime against a child. The Illinois Sex Offender Registry is located at www.isp.state.il.us.

Madigan also works with local and national law enforcement organizations to address Internet exploitation of children and women. Madigan’s office, with a grant from the Department of Justice, runs the Illinois Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force, which investigates child exploitation crimes and trains law enforcement. Since 2006, Madigan’s office has been involved in more than 300 arrests of sexual predators and provided Internet safety training and education to more than 128,000 parents, teachers and students and more than 10,000 law enforcement professionals.

The public is reminded that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty by a court of law.

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